Classic Bikes / Triumph Tiger T110

Triumph Tiger T110

When launched in the 1950s, the Triumph Tiger T110 was one of the fastest bikes in the world. The successor of the Triumph T100 was named T110 due to its top speed – 110 mph (160 km/h). A test by The Motor Cycle magazine measured the top speed of 109 mph but the results were inconclusive as the speedometer showed 114 mph. Factory tests, on the other hand, showed that the motorcycle can reach the top speed of 117 mph. However, 110 mph was more realistic and Triumph thus chose a good name.

Triumph Tiger T110 Production History

The first Triumph Tiger T110 was produced in 1953 and was first presented to the public in Paris in the same year. The motorcycle, however, became available only in 1954 and was produced by 1961. It came with 650cc OHV Twin engine and was a major success in both the UK and US market that wanted a powerful and fast motorcycle. Over the following years, the original T110 went through some changes, most notably the cylinder block and head (cast iron was soon replaced by light alloy cylinder head) and external oil feed pipes (replaced by internal oil ways). There were also some cosmetic changes such as redesigned tank badge with an optional two-tone colour. The 1959 models also came with the rear panelling for which it came to be called “bathtub”.

Dating and Serial Numbers

All Tiger T110s left the factory with matching serial numbers on the engine and frame which can also be used to date the motorcycle. However, it is important to mention that although the serial numbers were sequenced, the markings can be quite confusing. This is due to the fact that year end and summer holidays were used instead of calendar years.

Loss of the Title of “The Fastest Triumph’s Motorcycle” and End of Production

The Triumph Tiger T110 lost the title of “the fastest Triumph’s motorcycle” in 1959 when the British motorcycle company launched the T120 Bonneville model which could reach the top speed of 115 mph (185 km/h). The latter is said to had been inspired by greatly modified T110 version by which Johnny Allen reached the top speed of 214 mph and broke the motorcycle land-speed record in 1956. Production of the Triumph Tiger T110 continued by 1961 when it was finally replaced by the T120 Bonneville as the no.1 Triumph’s sports motorcycle.